After seminary training at St. Albertus Magnus under the direction of the Mission Fathers in Quebec, Canada and Cuba, he was ordained on August 2, 1964 in the Matanzas Cathedral amid consternation and fear among his people for the Cuban President Batista had been overthrown in 1959 and replaced by a leftist guerrilla commando Fidel Castro who was doing all he could to suppress the people, the Church and introduce the red sickle to these Hispanic shores where poverty was already a problem. After two years of pastoral work as a parish priest, he was arrested and thrown into a concentration work camp in 1966 where he made the best of a bad situation in his Gulag in the Unidades Militares de Apoyo a la Produccion by ministering to the poor wretched souls locked up with him. Because of his influence, Castro released him a year later and allowed him to practice as a parish priest in a limited basis at the Church of his birth. Three years later he was reassigned by the Church to the Cathedral of Matanzas where he had been ordained.
On December 4, 1978 Pope John Paul II elevated him to Bishop of Pinar del Rio and he was installed on January 14, 1979. Two years later on November 20, 1981 he was promoted to Archbishop of Havana, a position he still holds today. Less than three years after being installed, he was honored with the highest honor of the clergy - the cardinalate during the Holy Father's Consistory of November 26, 1994. He was given the titular church of Sts. Aquila and Pricilla and became the first Cuban to be appointed cardinal since the communist revolution in 1959. He serves membership on the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America as well as being the President of the Cuban Episcopal Conference and the main force in bringing the Pope to Cuba two years ago. Through his liaisoning with the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran and Castro himself, he was able to clear the way for the Holy Father to make his historic trip in January 1998 where he was greeted so enthusiastically and warmly by the Cuban people. The fruits of the Papal Visit and Cardinal Ortega's wise shepherding, Cuba is experiencing a renewal of the Faith and even Castro can't stop the Holy Spirit!
Vatican officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say that the Pope has "for practical purposes, decided" to make the trip to Iraq. In fact, they say, plans for the visit are already well advanced.
The Pontiff will reportedly travel to Iraq on December 2, for a two- day visit that will fulfill the Pope's desire to make a pilgrimage there, following in the footsteps of the patriarch Abraham. He would arrive in Baghdad, and travel by helicopter to the south of the country, and the ancient home of Abraham: Ur of the Chaldeans.
A secondary goal of the trip, officials add, is to offer "moral comfort" to the people of Iraq, who are suffering because of an international embargo and the effects of repeated air strikes.
In an interview published by the Italian daily Avvenire, Patriarch Pavle said that there are no real tensions dividing Orthodox and Catholic Serbs-- although he did comment that he felt the Vatican recognition of Bosnian independence had been "a bit premature." For the most part, he said, "recently we have find ourselves very much united."
The Serbian prelate expressed his gratitude for the statements made by Pope John Paul II during the war in Kosovo, when the Pontiff voiced his concern for the Serbian population and called for an end to NATO bombing of Yugoslavia.
Patriarch Pavle said that he, along with the Serbian Orthodox synod, now sought the resignation of Yugoslavian President Slobodan Milosevic, and the creation of a "provisional government" to guide the country through a period of transition to a new regime. He stressed that the Orthodox Church did not wish to become involved in practical politics, but sought only the welfare of the people.
At the moment, Pavle observed, "anyone who is in power in Serbia will find himself at an impasse." The country has become "isolated from the world," he said; Serbia is now "reduced to a ghetto, a prison." For that reason, he argued, it is essential to support a change in government, and a drive toward democracy.
Asked whether the Serbian Orthodox Church had supported the drive for a "Greater Serbia," which was the focus of foreign policy for the Milosevic government throughout the 1990s, the patriarch said that the Church had never backed such a project. In fact, he said, any "Greater Serbia" could be built only on "a mountain of crimes."
The author of the 100 photographs is a Japanese photographer who met Mother Teresa in 1975. Some of the pictures depict raw suffering, although there are some full of tenderness and hope.
The photographer himself told the story of his friendship with the Albanian religious. "Mother came in and sat in front of me, a small old woman, with a smiling face lined by deep wrinkles. After giving Mother my letter of introduction from Archbishop Shiro Ainashi of Tokyo, I explained my motives. The year before, I had been profoundly moved by my visit to the house of the poor and the dying. I would like to document the humanitarian activities in pictures to show them to the Japanese."
In a subdued voice, Mother answered: "I do not know what you mean by humanitarian activities. I am neither a social worker nor a philanthropist. I do what I do only for Christ. If I was a social worker or a philanthropist, I would not have left my happy home, or my parents. I have given my soul to God, therefore, what I do is not humanitarian, it is far simpler."
The meeting, inspired by the present new ecclesial moment, is being held from August 22-28. Some 500,000 people are participating in conferences, concerts, plays, exhibitions, and festivals, among other activities.
Communion and Liberation is present in 70 countries. In Italy alone, where it was founded by Archbishop Luigi Giussani, it has 100,000 members, mostly young people. ZE99082505